Coaching Accreditation Levels

SLSA Surf Sport Coach training sits under the umbrella of the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS), which covers over 70 different sports throughout Australia and is managed by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).

SLSA has a 5-tiered Coaching Pathway –

Age Manager (not part of NCAS)

Foundation Coach – targeting Parents of nippers/new club members and people with an interest in coaching.

Development Coach – targeting Parents of nippers, parents of young athletes, current/ex surf competitors, lifesaving trainers, other sporting code coaches wishing to coach surf athletes.

Performance Coach – for Ex-surf competitors, NSW accredited coaches wishing to coach surf sports athletes at the performance level.

High Performance Coach – This award is reserved for selected coaches who have been identified as leaders within their chosen field and is offered and run by SLSA, not the State Centres.

There is also a Boat Sweep Award – a pre-requisite is the completion of the Development Coaching accreditation as a Boat Coach prior to completing S2 and S3 Sweep Accreditation Assessment Tool. You cannot Sweep until you have completed both the theoretical and practical components of the Development Boat Coach Accreditation. S1 sweeps do not need to complete the Development Coaching accreditation prior to their Sweep accreditation and have various restrictions.


The guidelines and FAQ for new and renewing coaches within Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches can be accessed here.

SLSNSW coaching courses are now accessible to members at any time through the SLSA Members Portal.

How to Become an Accredited Coach

Outlined in the FAQ are all the stages of becoming a licensed coach.

Download your relevant assessment tool: Foundation | Development | Performance (contact Branch) | Sweep

For more information on becoming a coach visit the SLSNSW Coaching General Information & Resources page.

There are costs associated with these online courses, and you are required to pay for these courses upfront. So, discuss with your club whether they will reimburse you for the cost of the course.

How to Reaccredit 

Outlined in the FAQ are all the stages of renewing your license as a Coach.

To relicense as a Foundation, Development, Performance or Sweep Coach, the applicant must complete the Surf Coach Reaccreditation Form and submit alongside other relevant documents.

Face-to-Face courses

Details of the available courses including how to enrol will be posted here. (Updated Feb2023)

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

Candidates that already have the required competencies in any of the courses can apply to have these skills recognised to acquire their coaching accreditation without completing the theory components. This requires SLSNSW approval.

For more information on coaching pathways, enrolling for courses, and award reaccreditation, visit the SLSNSW Coaching mentioned above.

Coaching Resources

Navigate to our Coaching Resources page for access to online coaching manuals and training plans.


SLSA’s public liability and errors & omissions policy extends to include coaching of surf lifesaving activities ONLY and is subject to the following conditions:-

“Activities” are defined as:

  • Those, which are part of a structured training program encompassing elements directly developing skills required for lifesaving competition.
  • Those managed by an appropriately “accredited” coach/trainer.
  • Those approved by Surf Life Saving Australia as competition activities.

“Accredited” coach/trainer means:

  • Holding a current SLSA Surf Coach Accreditation.
  • Having satisfied SLSA’s member protection policy particularly the screening requirements (managed by state centres).
  • Having satisfied any other requirements required by law i.e. “accreditation – working with children.”

The policy covers the coaching of registered, financial and proficient members in the following categories:-

  • Junior (Nippers)
  • Active (Junior and Senior)
  • Active Reserve
  • Long Service
  • Award
  • Life

Volunteer coaches do not need to be contracted to a club, but the club must approve their activity.

It may be that you have circumstances / activities that fall outside the activities listed above and therefore you may need to obtain additional insurance.

If you are employed as a coach you will need to take out extra insurance. You must be under a written contract with a club.

All coaches are encouraged to analyse their coaching activities and develop a risk minimisation plan.

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